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With the announcement that Clinipace Worldwide has acquired Paragon Biomedical, the company now features a 2012 combined revenue forecast of $55 million, and becomes firmly planted in the mid-size tier of contract research organizations. An area that doesn’t have many players and one that CEO Jeff Williams says he feels good about.
“I don’t think you necessarily need to be larger to be competitive. What you need is a competitive business model and approach to running clinical trials,” says Williams. But he does concede that larger size helps win more work and to grow capacity. “Being able to deliver more projects based on our business model, so that we can service more work,” is what Williams says makes the increase in size more important.
Paragon Biomedical’s existing staff, offices and executives will be maintained in the acquisition, and, as a traditional CRO, brings strength in clinical operations and in additional therapeutic areas that Clinipace did not yet have. Clinipace considers itself a dCRO—or digital CRO—an untraditional model that features its technology platform upon which the trial operations run, rather than retrofitting technology operations over top the clinical trial. Williams explains Clinipace has purchased three companies in the previous three years, all with a specific strategy in mind.
The first was the acquisition in 2009 to grow its oncology depth, as well as its reach into South America. The second in 2011 added regulatory affairs and quality assurance, which addressed the company’s need to help its client base, traditionally in early stage development, to navigate the regulatory pathways. And its third acquisition, also in 2011, grew Clinipace World’s presence in Europe, Israel and India, as well as adding multitherapeutic capabilities. According to Williams, the company is happy where they are with their therapeutic expertise, so would be looking to Eastern Europe as its next destination.
To its current client base (and there was no overlap with the Paragon Biomedical clients), Williams explains they are the smaller to mid-market biopharma that like the value proposition that Clinipace offers. That is, as a dCRO using its TEMPO eClinical platform that eliminates the need for different databases and, therefore, no siloed information. Williams says, “I believe the way it’s going in all verticals, not just our industry, is that if the technology becomes invisible that’s when you know you are getting value. As long as you meet your goals and get quality results, companies that are progressive don’t care about the technology. They care about getting the studies done right.”